The study estimates small-scale mango farmers’ choice of market channels using the Cragg’s two-step procedure where the farmer decides on the channel in the first step and the proportion sold to the selected channel in the second step. Cross section data was collected from a sample of 224 mango farmers selected through multistage sampling just after the mango season. The study was carried out in Makueni County in Eastern Kenya. The county is leading in production of mangoes in Kenya, having produced over 146,000 tonnes valued at over 18 million US dollars, in 2015. The data was analyzed using Cragg’s two step regression model. The first step assessed factors that determine choice of a particular channel, while the second step assessed factors that influence the proportion of produce sold to the channel. Results show that socio-economic factors significant in the first stage are not necessarily significant in the second stage. In some cases, the direction of effect reverses. Factors such as distance to tarmac road, number of mango trees in the farm, membership in producer marketing groups, training in mango agronomy, and access to extension services affect choice of export market channel. Only membership to mango marketing groups significantly influences proportion sold. Household income, distance to tarmac, number of trees, market information, and gender significantly affect choice of the direct market channel. The direct market channel earns farmers the largest margins, followed by the export channel. However, majority of farmers sell to brokers followed by export channel. It was found that despite being aware that they could fetch higher prices through direct selling, they lacked financial capacity, transport resources, and information on market locations and requirements. Policies need to enhance financial capacity of farmers, as well as expand efforts to disseminate timely and accurate market information.
Key words: Small-scale farmers, mango market channels, Kenya.
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